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Interviewing Rev. Gary van der Meer, St. John’s Incumbent, Sept. 2001 – Sept. 2011

Reverend Gary van der Meer, St. John’s Incumbent from September 2001 through September 2011, sat down for an interview with me on Tuesday at St. John's to discuss his dynamic decade at 288 Humberside. Since his time at St. John’s, Gary has served as Incumbent at St. Anne’s in Toronto, and since February 2021 has led St. John the Evangelist in Ottawa.

Under Gary’s uniquely energetic leadership. St. John’s West Toronto was transformed in many ways that have endured over the 10+ years since he left. The most vivid example was the installation in 2002 of the interior colours, which harmonized the church’s interior with the key colours that connected the stained-glass windows, purple, yellow, and green, and which reflected the parish’s identity. There was also implemented a novel, varied roster of artists approach to music in St. John’s services, and an un-mooring of the church pews to facilitate their circular arrangement to encourage more engagement.

In the 60-minute interview, which will shortly be shared on St. John’s 100th website, Gary provides personal and historical perspectives on these and other innovations and challenges that shaped his tenure as St. John’s helm.

For further details about Rev. Gary van der Meer when he was first appointed and shortly after he arrived at St. John's, see the St. John’s Journals of August and December 2001.

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